Conference Preparations: 5 Tips

Conference session is in full swing. Since I have attended and helped with several, I thought I would share a few tips with you today. Don’t leave just yet. I think you will find a tidbit or two that will be beneficial, even if you never plan on attending a conference.

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1. New hair cut or style

The whole idea of a new hair cut may seem a little silly to you, but stick with me. If you are more confident in your appearance, then it will shine through in your actions. You will be more willing to go up and introduce yourself or even ask questions during a session. Not to mention the impact it will have in your speaking critique groups or publisher/agent appointments.

photo 12. Notes/Schedule/Bible

These items may seem a little obvious, but I assure you when you are trying to not only get your stuff together, but everything for your family lined out something maybe forgotten. You want to be prepared. Therefore, keep your speaking or writing notes together in a folder or on a thumb drive along with your conference schedule and Bible. Go ahead and put them in a briefcase or shoulder bag that you will not leave the house without.

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 3. Conference Binder

I’m certain there must be at least one person reading this blog thinking, “you’ve have got to be kidding me. This lady is taking this a little too far.” Hear me out and then decide. After attending a few conferences, I found myself constantly flipping through my purse and bag to find a business card, one-sheet or my notes. It was embarrassing, especially when you factor in the importance of a good first impression. Therefore, I now utilize a small three ring binder for all my conferences. I use baseball card holders for my business cards, placing 3-5 in each slot on two sheets. The first row on the second sheet I leave open for the cards I will be receiving. I also use the 8 1/2 x 11 sheet protectors for holding my one-sheets for publisher appointments as well as placing one in the front sleeve of the binder to potentially peak someone’s interest in my book. An additional copy of the conference schedule is placed in this binder. Everything I need is all in one location, right at my fingertips.

photo 3photo 24. Packing

Obviously, you are going to need clothes, shoes and accessories, but how do you decide what to choose? I would suggest you have a friend or spouse give their input on your possible choices to help you determine what to bring. My suggestion would be an assortment of comfortable, yet professional shoes and clothes. It helps if you can mix and match pieces, to cut down on luggage space. A quick tip on keeping your accessories straight – Ziploc bags. After trying on and selecting, not only the outfit and shoes, but also the jewelry; I will hang the clothes together until they go in the suitcase with the accessories for that particular outfit in a zip bag hung on the pant/skirt hanger. You can use this same idea when packing for a vacation with the kids – putting their socks, hair ties and jewelry in one.

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5. Prayer

I saved the most important tip for the end – prayer. You need to be praying for the event before the first session even begins. I also encourage you to ask your family and friends to come beside you and pray with you. Dear friends, make no mistake there is power in prayer. Whether you are attending a writing/speaking conference with hundreds or a little league game, you need to bathe it in prayer. God longs to be actively a part of your life. Prayer is the best way to not only talk to Him, but also listen to His still small voice as He graciously guides your steps.

Your Turn: Do you have a conference/travel tip that you would like to share today? If so, please leave it in the comment section. Also, if there is something I can pray for with you, please leave that as well. I do ask that you would keep me in your prayers over the course of the next few days as I travel to Grand Rapids to attend the Speak Up Conference.

Can you hear me now?

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It amazes my children that when I was their age I did not have a cell phone. The look on their face shows such disbelief. They begin to think I have to be as old as dirt. In the world they are growing up in it does seem foreign not to see people talking or texting on cell phones.

Although they have downsides, I must admit as a parent it is very comforting to be able to reach my daughter, who is away at school, at any time and she can in turn respond from anywhere on campus about anything that is going on in her life. It makes the distance almost melt away.

Do you realize that you have access to something even better than 4G coverage and service? It is prayer.

Dear friends you can come to God at any time of day or night – He doesn’t have select “office” hours. You can also pray anywhere. It doesn’t have to be at church on Sunday or at the dinner table before meals. In addition, we can bring anything to God in prayer. We must keep in mind that prayer doesn’t have to be long or complicate. It is simply a conversation between you and God. Therefore, just tell Him exactly what is on your heart – the victories as well as the struggles.

Dear Heavenly Father, I come to You with a thankful heart today. I know that no matter what circumstance I am facing in my life You promise to be right by my side. I have the confidence to know that I can come to You at any hour of the day and that You will not only hear my prayer, my cries for help, but You will answer. I long to draw closer to You this week. May I silence the shouts of the world around me to hear Your still small voice. In Your Precious Name, Amen.

Your Turn:

Today, spend some time connecting with God in prayer. I would appreciate it if you would pray for me as I make the final preparations for attending the Speak Up Conference later this week. I will be attending several sessions as well as meeting with agents and publishers to pitch my latest book. I don’t know what God has in store, but I am laying it all at His feet.

I will gladly pray for you as well. Please share your request in the comment section


Can You Hear Me Now?

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It amazes my children that when I was their age I did not have a cell phone. The look on their face shows such disbelief. They begin to think I have to be as old as dirt. In the world they are growing up in it does seem foreign not to see people talking or texting on cell phones.

Although they have downsides, I must admit as a parent it is very comforting to be able to reach my daughter, who is away at school, at any time and she can in turn respond from anywhere on campus about anything that is going on in her life. It makes the distance almost melt away.

Do you realize that you have access to something even better than 4G coverage and service? …..


This is a portion of an article that I have featured on Encouragement Café  and Crosswalk today. I would love for you to read and then come back and share your thoughts in the comment section. For every comment, you will be entered to win a FREE book. I will announce the winner of the Friday Afternoon Fun post.

Invitation to Pray


The wonderful people at Women of Faith have decided to incorporate something new this year into their 20 city tour, a city prayer team. They have selected a leader for each state. Gwendolyn David is the leader for the Indianapolis group. I am privileged to sit under her leadership and be a part of this prayer team. There is still time for you to become a part of this group. All you need to do is leave your name in the comment section of this post and I will pass it along to Gwen who will get in touch with you and give you all the information you need.

If you do not live in Indiana, you can find a prayer group in your state or volunteer to pray across the miles. As a prayer team member you commit to praying for the speakers, worship team, volunteers, host city and participants from now until the conference in September. Our focus is specifically praying for the “one”. The lady who attends the conference and gives her life to Christ. The first conference on the Women of Faith tour, Columbus, Ohio, there were over 200 “ones” who gave their lives to Christ.

Make no mistake, there is power in prayer. We need to pray for these ladies to not just exist in survival mode, but revival. Will you join us?

I would also encourage you to post a prayer in the comment section today whether you want to be a part of the city prayer team or not. Let’s storm the gates of heaven today.

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Unpacking Treasure in the Word


I love this verse from the book of Hebrews. It is filled with so many key items, almost like a suitcase after an extended trip. So today I invite you to come along with me as we begin to unpack this verse.

Hebrews 4:16 centers around prayer, which is an integral part of not only our faith but also our relationship with God.

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence” (Hebrews 4:16a)

This means that because of Christ’s sacrifice for our sins on the cross, we not only have the gift of salvation, but also direct access to God. You and I do not need to speak through someone else. We not only have direct access to God but also can do so with confidence. We do not need to approach like a timid mouse, but rather boldly.

God longs to hear from us – the good and the bad. Just like me with my children. I want to hear about their day and have them talk with me not just when they want something. I encourage you to see prayer as simply a conversation with God. Like any relationship, it will grow with time together and that can be accomplished through prayer and time in the Word. God will speak to your heart.

He makes a promise to us in the second half of the verse: “so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Dear friend, no matter what you bring to God in prayer you can rest assured that He will grant you mercy and grace. Just like David in the Psalms, God wants to restore us to the joy of our salvation. However, we must be willing to come to Him and lay our sin, burdens and struggles at His feet and let His love, grace and mercy flow over us.

We also need to view prayer as a preparation for what lies ahead. We can’t see the future. However, God not only sees the big picture, but also is waiting there with open arms. He knows what we are going to go through and uses prayer to guide, equip and strengthen us. However, we have to first come to Him.

Say for example you were heading out on a long trip and a friend said to stop by and he would give you everything you needed for the journey, would you make time to go? Absolutely, we wouldn’t even give it a second thought. You and I would want to be prepared. So why don’t we take God up on His offer? He has everything we need, and so much more all we need to do is go to Him in prayer. Jesus paid the price, our access has been granted. Take God at His Word and approach Him with confidence knowing He will grant you grace and mercy.


Your Turn: I encourage you to spend time with God in prayer today. Also, if you have a prayer request, please leave it in the comment section, I would love to pray for you.

Guest Posting – Disclaimer


Don’t you just love the fine print? You know what I’m talking about, the extremely small print at the bottom of contests, sweepstakes, contracts, credit card offers, and prescription commercials. This is where the company places any exclusions or conditions. I personally hate these. I mean I believe a company needs to be upfront with me and not try and hide anything or deceive me. I can’t believe the nerve – something must be done.

However, as I contemplate whom I need to contact and what I need to say, I begin to examine my own life – specifically my prayer life….


I am so excited to be guest posting on Jill Tucker’s blog today. We met the She Speaks Conference this past July. She is such an incredible woman. I encourage you to check out my post – Disclaimer.

Cancer, Vitamins and Christ

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Today is a very special day for me for more than one reason. It is my birthday, but it is also the anniversary of my cancer diagnosis. I would like to share something that is near and dear to my heart. I would love to hear your feedback. Thank you for sharing this day with me.

It was a brisk November day as I made my way across the parking lot and into the doctor’s office. My mind was going in several different directions as I mentally made a to-do list and tried to decide how to spend my day – my birthday. The appointment should not take long. It was just a follow-up from my procedure a few weeks earlier. I was so lost in thought that I almost didn’t hear the nurse call my name. It seemed a little odd that she didn’t stop and have me weigh in – always my least favorite – maybe it was her birthday present to me. The sweet little nurse ushered me into the doctor’s office and not the normal exam room. It was out of the ordinary, but the waiting room was so full I didn’t think much about it. I simply made myself comfy on the couch, pulled out my Kindle and started reading.

Before long, the doctor entered the room with my chart. He had this serious look on his face and then said, “We need to talk.” The pause seemed like an eternity. “The path results came back and it’s not good. It’s cancer.” After hearing the “C” word everything else went into slow motion. Jumbled phrases were making their way through the fog, “Caught it early,” “surgery is necessary,” and “most likely contained.” I couldn’t believe this was happening. I’m only in my 30s. This was just a follow-up. The doctor has to have picked up the wrong file. I simply needed to wake-up. It had to just be a nightmare. The next thing I know I am handed an appointment card for a specialist – gynecological oncologist – in Indianapolis.
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Lower Your Nets


It amazes me how God can take something so small and turn it into something amazing and beyond anything I could ever hope or imagine.

About a year ago, I was assisting Melissa Taylor with email correspondence. During this time, I was noticing a number of prayer requests on the blog comments as well as via email. So, one day I asked Melissa if anyone ever followed up with these ladies and if not would she mind if I took that on. I had such a heart for these ladies that were hurting and I wanted to reach out to them in the only way I knew how. Melissa gave me the go ahead, so I dove in.

At that time, I simply went through the blog comments and made note of any prayer requests. I took those requests and prayed over them and then followed up about a week later through an email. To see how things were going and if there was any additional way I could pray for them.

I really didn’t know what to expect from sending out these emails. The responses from these ladies were simply amazing. It was overwhelming to see how touched they were that someone cared enough to follow up with them. I had no idea that something so small could make such a huge impact on someone’s life.

As the online Bible studies continued to grow, I knew that I was going to need help. Therefore, I had three wonderful ladies decide to assist me during the Stressed-Less Living study. They were able to help me go through all the comments on the blog and make note of the requests. This was such a tremendous help.

When preparing for the What Happens When Women Say Yes to God study, I knew that I was going to need additional team members. With my limited vision, I was thinking that doubling the team to six would be wonderful. Well, God had much bigger plans in mind. I am now director of the Real Hope Prayer Warrior Team that consists of 18 ladies with a heart for prayer.

I never imagined that God would take that small nudge I had for these hurting women who were leaving prayer requests, that simply yes, and turn it in to what it is now.

I truly believe that at this point in my life, this is exactly where God wants me and I am so honored to serve in such a way. To reach out to these ladies, a lot of who do not have another outlet. I love that the Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies provides that safe environment for women around the world. Not just an environment, but also a community. Connection. The ability to be seen. To be heard. To be prayed for and let the love of God shine through the leaders to the world.

I am truly amazed at how God is working in and through this study. He will take our small yes’s, our little notes, our encouraging words, those little steps of faith and turn them into something amazing. But dear friend, you have got to say Yes to Him and you have got to give Him those small things, and trust in His leading and God will turn them into something beyond anything you could ever imagine.